tv Amanpour Company PBS October 15, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour and company." here's what's coming up. the yays are 53, the nays are 45. >> as midterm looms and the cross-party divide widens, two governors from different sides of the aisle are trying to dial down the toxic rhetoric. i hear from democrat john hickenlooper and john kasich, former presidential rival to donald trump, on their unlikely teamwork. then, british actress and hollywood superstar keira knightley, her latest movie on the revolutionary french writer colette strikes a cord with knightley's campaign for women's rights. plus, scaling one of america's most iconic monoliths without a single piece of rope
or harness. our hari sreenivasan talks to rock climber alex honnold and the documentary filmmakers behind the remarkable new work, "free solo." uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour and company." when they founded a collection of boutique hotels, they had bigger dreams. those dreams were on the water. a river, specifically. multiple rivers. they would one day be home to uniworld river cruises and their floating boutique hotel. today, that dream sets sail in europe, asia, india, egypt, and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, uniworld.com. >> additional support has been provided by -- rosalyn p. walter. bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar walkenheim iii.
the sheryl and phillip minstein family. and contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in london. washington is awash with bitter partisanship, as we know, from the confirmation of justice brett kavanaugh to the supreme court to the combative campaigns for november's midterm elections. congress has seen scandal, diatribes, and insults replaced with the distant dignity and debate. enter into this swamp a most unusual partnership. republican governor john kasich of ohio and democratic governor john hickenlooper of colorado, an elephant and a donkey, if you like, choosing to overcome animalistic rituals of current politics. they warn that only a return to bipartisan cooperation can lead to policy breakthroughs. the two governors join me to talk about the blueprints and
open lessons they've crafted on issues from health care at home to international trade policy. governors, welcome to the program. i have spoken to each one of you separately, but the whole point is that you're together and you are demonstrating your live demonstration of anti-bitter partisanship. what is it that you are trying to do by your double act? >> go ahead. >> we're just hanging out together doing what people do when they're normal. it's a natural thing you kind of click with somebody, you get along with them, and work together on projects. this is not like some -- unless you want to give us the nobel prize. maybe we'll take a nobel prize but other than that it's not that big a deal. we're friends and we can maneuver through things. we don't have that many problems anyway. it's fun. >> part of our relationship is as a republican and a democrat
we are able to find compromises on the more difficult issues, and i think that's a model. we're trying to create a model that we can say health care, big complex issue. if a republican and democratic governor have to implement the federal policies, if we can find compromise, doesn't that suggest congress should be able to improve things and move forward? >> well, that's what we want to get to. you as governors have said interesting things right now. governor kasich, you said what's the problem? we can get along. we can get on with this. senators in the congress, the image is right behind you, have been mired in this terrible toxic partisanship. recently the republican senator flake said tribalism is ruining us. this is no way for sane adults to act. commentators say there's a civil war in the united states between democrats and republicans, and
it shows up especially in congress and the executive, as well. how do you provide an example to those people in the building behind you? >> i don't know they're paying attention. in days people could get along, remember, christiane, i was one of the negotiators to get the federal budget balanced. it was pretty simple to do. it was a hard road, but we got it done. being a governor you, you know, you have problems to solve. you see, john and i don't operate in a zero-sum game here. if i get something, he gets nothing. we both benefit from the cooperation. i don't think we even think of it that way in terms of what's a benefit. it's just natural that he and i can figure out what are reasonable solutions to the challenging problems for our country. do i think these other folks are -- i mean, we can do our job. do i think they're sitting there
watching? no, i don't. i think they think they have it all figured out. but the zero-sum game mentality, whether it is in sports, whether it's in politics, whether it's in religion, whether it's in business, never serves anybody well. the idea is everybody has to gain a little bit of something when they work together. that's why we work together and have better progress. >> right. but, exactly, you raise this issue whereby the opposition is now the enemy, not just somebody you disagree with on policy. so, governor hickenlooper, you mentioned and we mentioned that it is health care that has brought you to, at first, together. president trump published an op-ed in "usa today" this week. he said your party, democrats, would gut medicare with their, quote, medicare for all proposal. this has been debunked by fact checkers, and "usa today" has been criticized for running this op-ed. what is your reaction to it and
how does an op-ed on this sort of very touch stone issue by the president affect americans' understanding of what's at stake? >> well, i think president trump has -- he's not constrained by facts or telling the truth. that is a problem that creates a lot of confusion in terms of what the american people think, certainly what they hear, but also i think they're confused in what they think. the bottom line is governors are aware the buck stops. federal government may make these national policies, but we're the ones who have to implement it. we have to make sure we're taking their rules and regulations and trying to apply them as best we can. the key here is both john and i feel, i think, strongly, that we didn't want to go backwards. you can fight over whether you want a single payer system or medicare for all, any of those different types of getting there but we all want more people covered. that's almost universal. maybe not completely universal.
almost universal. so what are the pathways by which we can get more people covered? when we first got together and president trump had just gotten elected and was going to completely eliminate the affordable care act, both of us didn't want to have to roll back our medicaid coverage, the coverage for really the last and the least in this country, and we wanted to find ways in the private marketplace to make it less expensive for all of our citizens, both in colorado and in ohio. that focus, we want to get this system to perform better, how can we compromise? we disagree on many things. if we're able to compromise, why can't congress compromise? i think that model is relevant today, and i think we're making progress today. >> it's important because many political leaders identify health care as a key issue for american people as they go into the upcoming elections. to have you on the same side is
an important marker for the what people. >> here's the thing. there are some principles that john and i agree upon. if you have a pre-existing condition, you shouldn't be denied coverage. we believe health care costs are too high. we both believe in the concept of paying for performance, quality not quantity. there are ways to deal with the rising costs of pharmaceuticals. you take all these things together to make the package of obamacare more affordable, there's a lot of things that we -- print pl -- principles that we agree upon. we have a problem, these are the principles, let's go to work and fix them, it's not that complicated and that's why it's been pretty easy to work together. what has to happen ultimately, christiane, senators pushed by governors have to make sure they don't do something that is irresponsible. medicare for all is ridiculous. it's not going to happen. we would be bankrupt -- we're already heading towards bankruptcy.
we're not going to do that. what we all agree you just can't say that some people ought not to have health care coverage because then they can't work, they go into debt, their children pay a price. we think there are ways you can get that done with really reasonable approaches. it has to move from a quantity base system to a quality base system. people who are really hurting have to get what they need. >> absolutely. >> i'm hearing you say that despite our differences we should know throw the baby out with the bath water on this issue. and presumably on other issues as well. governor kasich, you obviously were an oppose of president trump during the campaign. you were a presidential candidate. the america first rallying cry of this president has really been felt in the trade area. you have the whole renegotiation of nafta. you have the issue of trade war, trade tariffs, back and forth between the united states and china. and just this week the head of
the imf has warned this is going to cost america's global growth, economic growth, and that of china and that means the global economy. so what would you say to the president on this issue of trade? what would you both say, and how is it affecting people in your state? >> well, first of all, i believe trade has both an economic and a geopolitical side to it. obviously, free trade means you have innovation. you have products that cost less. and we also know the geopolitical side. when the u.s. withdrew from the pacific trade agreement then the shadow of china, which has a value system different than ours, shadows those countries that really were hoping the united states would be in league with them and offer them support. in addition to that, what i'm concerned about and very timely is the fact we have been
unwilling at the administration level to condemn the actions of autocrats. and that's very dangerous when autocrats, people who assume this power, think they can do things with impunity, you know, then it's a major, major problem. we see what's happening now in the developing story with saudi arabia. the united states needs to be a voice for higher ideals. it has to be a voice for free trade, for free enterprise, for human rights, for freedom of speech, freedom of religion. these are things that make america so special. and if it all becomes about what's in it for us, we'll pursue our agenda and you can pursue yours, we lose the teamwork that has been so vital in keeping the peace for the last 70 years and this has got to stop. >> that's so interesting. >> wait a minute. it will have profound consequences for the united states and its citizens and citizens in the western world who share our ethic not just today but in the days yet to
come. >> exactly. you just used the word teamwork in relation to propelling america's agenda forward whether it's on trade or whether it's on moral and other human rights issues. so, governor hickenlooper, if i could pick up with you on that issue of what to do about saudi arabia because from the united states perspective, from the senators now who have written a letter to president trump asking him to hold the saudis accountable and get the truth, what should the president do? this is a major issue, a journalist may have been murdered by a major u.s. ally. >> again, we'll get the facts on this. i can't imagine that we won't immediately with the world media working at every turn. we'll get the facts. if saudi arabia did what many people are saying they did, they have to be held accountable. the united states can't look the other way and have any credibility not even from a moral point of view.
i mean, that would be first and foremost, but from a trade or a partnership in international commerce. we've got to be the bellwether of doing what and supporting what's right and then denouncing and acting against what is clearly criminal behavior. >> what's an interesting development here, christiane, is the activity of turkey. i think the west has ignored turkey for about ten years, a decade. no policy from us. no policy from anyone. and they're a critical nation between the east and the west and how -- and i know we have big problems with erdogan. he's another autocrat. we have not been able to figure out how to develop a more robust and better relationship. and what is happening now is very interesting in terms of an opening for us to perhaps re-engage, recognizing the down side of a guy like erdogan who is an autocrat. furthermore, the issue of teamwork matters so much because we have a thing called the wto, the world trade organization. china's activities are terrible. but it would be much better if
our allies, the countries that all stand to lose because of china ripping off our technology, because of chinese aggression economically, that, in fact, we could work through the wto to have the most effective way to get china back in line. but doing it alone is not as effective as if we have a team. >> right. now let me ask you this, because you're talking in a round about way without so much as saying it, there's a fraying of the major institutions and pillars of american democracy and some of these autocrats around the world are looking at that and feeling potentially that they can get away with the assault on human rights and basic civil liberties as you've just been outlining. now at home in the united states there is, as i pointed out, many people saying there's a civil war going on between the two sides. and you have both spent the last two years as much talking about civility and the need to restore civility as anything else.
so i want to get your reaction, both of you, to an interview i did with hillary clinton this week, and it's caused a lot of fallout on this very issue. this is what she said to me when i asked her about the need to restore and rebuild civility in the american public sphere. >> you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. that's why i believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the house and/or the senate, that's when civility can start again. but until then, the only thing that the republicans seem to hickenlooper, do you translate that as calling for uncivility? how do you assess what she just said? >> certainly, she reflects a
growing sense of frustration and anger. democrats and a large number of independents and reason s -- republicans, where they feel the present administration has attacked rule by law, attacked the courts, attacked and tried to diminish the free media, cast doubt on any story that doesn't agree with what they want to be said on tv or in the media. i think that kind of a frustration leads to the kind of incivility secretary clinton was talking about. now i don't agree that's the only way, and i think you always need to look at other approaches that can challenge -- if you have a bully in the schoolyard, you don't just go up and punch him back, although i will say sometimes -- as someone who was bullied when i was a little kid, sometimes that's the only thing that works -- but oftentimes you
have to find a way to make them, their actions, the humorous part, the butt of other kids' jokes. i think that in terms of this administration we can't just resort to anger and attacks and incivility. there has to be a place there as well for pointing out a different way of doing things, a different approach. it's a funny thing. abraham lincoln said do i not conquer my enemy when i make them my friend? i'm not saying you go out and reach out to president trump and try to make him your friend because clearly that hasn't been successful from anyone's point of view, but i think many republicans who are torn between his approach and the way he conducts himself and yet they're republicans and they have a republican in the white house, i think a lot of those people are vulnerable and ready to be, you know, persuaded that they can no longer support a president who, again, is, as you say, fraying the very bonds that hold a democracy together.
>> governor kasich, do you agree with that? do you agree? >> that's why i like john so much. let me be stronger. i am shocked that hillary said this. i've known her for a long time. i don't know -- maybe she got up on the wrong side of the bed. to say what we need to do is get out and fight -- and i know there was a republican preacher who said we need to elect more street fighters and we need to win! i mean, come on, christiane, that's the zero sum gain that i'm going to vanquish my opponent and that does not work. you just have to take a deep breath and our tongues which have been described in scripture as more powerful than the rudder on a big ship, we have to restrain ourselves and be patient because there's a long game we're playing. and to say, well, we'll just be mean until we take over, then everything will be nice, i think you've studied civil wars in the world and that approach is, well, we're going to be nasty
until we win, that's not a solution. i bet hillary would like to take that back. >> i ask you both because, actually, she's reflecting quite a lot of commentary right now. there are even in british newspapers sort of commentators who say actually the democrats should be taking a page out of the republican leader senator mitch mcconnell's book, where he is played very cynical and savvy politics and, and, and. and there's a book, a new book, by a professor at roosevelt university that's called "it is time to fight dirty." and he's talking, you know, for the democrats. again, governor hickenlooper, you've heard governor kasich's view on this, but is it time for the democrats to take a page out of the republicans' playbook? >> well, that's happening. so many democrats are so angry
and so frustrated that they can no longer restrain themselves. that's what we're devolving to. i don't think it's a long-term solution. it's a more successful strategy and perhaps you need both. there has to be an arm that's attacking and aggressive and venting that frustration that so many -- and it is not just democrats. i want to repeatedly emphasize it's independents, a number of republicans feel just as angry, just as frustrated with the behavior of the republicans in washington right now. but i think even as that attack and that aggression takes place, there has to be a group of democrats that are providing solutions and a vision to the future that allows us to see how are we going to create the jobs and make sure that income gets distributed more fairly? how are we going to address issues around health care as numbers of people live longer we have more problems with alzheimer's?
how will we deal with all these large-scale problems if we're still fighting each other over every little issue that comes across the newspapers? >> let me just say one more thing here, and that is, if democrats focused on health care, if democrats focused on border separation, family separation at the border, you don't need to yell and scream. they just need to make their case. yelling and screaming -- look, i was on the stage with 16 people, a number of whom were yelling and screaming. i don't think it gets you anywhere at the end of the day. >> that yelling and screaming got the candidate into the white house. i think you're referring to president trump. morrow, but we need to start thinking about the long-term implications in the country. our own personal long-term futures about how we want to be judged once we depart this earth. >> and i will wrap that up on precisely this note then. one of the greatest existential
threats to us, to humankind, is climate. the two parties are notoriously at odds over how to deal with this. you've just seen yet another hurricane, a massive storm wipe out parts of florida. this is on and on and on, not just in the united states but we've seen it in indonesia this last week and elsewhere. can your model of trying to get executives to work together sensibly and depoliticize such an issue like climate, can it work? >> absolutely. and if you look at just in this past week, there was a news article about exxon putting a million dollars in supporting a carbon tax that wouldn't be an additional tax but would be used -- the money would be used to make sure we address climate. if you look at some of walmart, one of the largest retailers on
earth, if not the largest, and they are on a real steep course to be totally sustainable and they're even looking at, you know, they're the largest grocer in the united states, if not the world, and they're talking about how are we going to get to the point where all the produce, all the meat is grown sustainably? the animals are raised sustainably. once you get the large corporations to recognize that they are not going to have a successful business model unless we address climate change, and i mean address it in real time, not 25 or 50 years away, but begin changing our behavior now, if we don't get those companies we'll have a hard time turning the ship of pollution and air quality. and we've worked very hard in colorado. we were able to get the gas industry and the environmental community to sit down, put down their weapons for 12 months and figure out what would be appropriate methane regulations. how do we cut down on the fugitive emissions, methane getting into the atmosphere. it's 60 times worse than co2 and no one was addressing it.
you have to sit down and get both sides to say, all right now, this is a common threat to everyone. how do we move forward? i think we're at a tipping point, and i think the storms in florida, just the incredible disruption in climate all over the world. the acidity in the oceans, all these things are getting people to the tipping point, where they're finally going to take action from the biggest companies down to the smallest. >> governor kasich, do you agree with that? >> of course, of course. he was talking about methane. we've dealt with the methane problem in our state. we promote renewables and i've had a problem with some who say send me something that reduces the goals we want on renewables and i'll veto them, which i think they've done and will again. that's a way to get there. we have to look at the issue of climate. we have to rely on a ground that's not win/lose. we'll put all these things in and you lose all your jobs. there's a way to take action quickly, immediately, that can have profound benefits for the
environment i includie environment, including the health of people. as arnold schwarzenegger says, stop worrying about what will happen in 20 years. let's talk about the damage being done to people themselves because of the degradation of the environment. so, yeah, i think it's possible to get there and we have to keep cool heads about it and recognize, look, i read about the destruction of the coral reefs. here is what it gets down to for me. the lord created the environment. we're supposed to take care of it, not worship it, and we're not doing a good job in taking care of it. more and more enlightened people and companies are saying this is something we must do. i agree with that. >> that's a wonderful way to end. both of you, thank you very much. i'm sure there are many, many people watching this program across the united states who applaud your sense of bipartisanship and take the bitterness and enmity out of politics. governor kasich, governor hickenlooper, thank you for joining me. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. so, as u.s. governors and lawmakers in congress grapple
with the prevailing forces of opposition and dogma, we turn to a french ghost writer struggling to overcome the gender constraints of society in the late 19th century. keira knightley's new movie "colette" is based on the story of one of france's most innovative novelists and her struggle for recognition and creative independence from her husband who was a successful parisian writer. >> madam, an honor. >> a pleasure to meet you. >> heading for her third printing. >> excellent. >> i believe based in part on your school days. >> yes, i think i had a little something to contribute. >> a little something to contribute. keira knightley herself is no stranger to fighting for women's rights. regularly campaigning for greater equality as well as recently opening up about her own mental health struggles after receiving international fame at such a young age.
the star of "pirates of the caribbean," "atonement," and more told me what made her choose "colette" as her role. keira knightley, welcome to the program. >> thank you very much. >> of all the roles you've done, this is a little bit of a departure. why "colette"? >> why not? i think i got sent the script and didn't know much about her. i knew a little about her work. >> this is one of her famous books. >> a brilliant book. if anyone hasn't read it, they should. i didn't know anything about her life story, and i certainly didn't know what this film was about, her first marriage to a man called willie who took credit for her first four novels. yeah. i just read it and thought, whoa, this is fascinating. you have a period piece but it's talking about gender politics, about sexual politics, and it's talking about everything we're very much talking about today. it felt very current. >> was all this happening? there are long leads to making
these films. when you chose the script and started filming, was all the me too and -- >> it was before me too. i think we filmed the year before that happened. i think the director of this had been trying to get this film made for 15 years. nobody was interested. and i think -- i remember suddenly feminism was allowed to be talked about again maybe ten years ago. i don't think it's an accident that culturally weould get money for stories like this and something like me too was also happening at the same time. >> so tell me a little bit, you say it's about her marriage. she married this guy, willie, who was a writer. she was his ghost writer, so to speak. >> yeah. what's fascinating about them, and i didn't know this before doing the film, but llie was one of the biggest writers in the day. he was seen as a complete star. and he had a factory of writers that would write for him. he started his criticism and needed to do so many things and wanted to write novels. wanted to do other things.
he had this factory of writers. she was one of the factory of writers. but her books happened to be the ones that were such monumental successes. >> and she started to outshine him. >> she definitely started to outshine him. at the beginning he was definitely her editor and encouraged her and molded her in a way, but then her voice got stronger and stronger and stronger and eventually she said i want a co-credit. they were big stars. they were a celebrity couple. and she said i want co-credit, and he wouldn't give it to her. that was probably the moment she just went, no. >> and we have a clip, so i'm going to play it. >> very good. >> finally, we have a success, and then you imply that i'm not the true author of it. >> no, i didn't. >> we're holding dynamite here. we've created something really powerful, and if it goes off at the wrong time it could blow our bloody heads off. >> that is your publisher. >> schwab is part of the factory.
>> people love to talk. they praise it to your face and the moment you turn around there's knives in your back. i understand the mentality. you don't. >> i understand it well enough to write a book. >> this shows the relationship is one of a bit of envy in the end. >> absolutely. it's always going to be, isn't it, particularly if you know you're famous and seen as a genius based on somebody else's work. i think there must have been a desperation to silence her, a desperation to say, you know, just keep quiet, keep down, and please stay in the country and don't tell anybody. again, he was a big celebrity. so even after this and she divorced and everybody did know that she wrote the books, 3,000 people turned up to his funeral. so of the day, he was a huge star. if that stardom is based on something your wife has done, there's a fear, and he definitely tried to silence her. >> you do a lot of period dramas, right? a lot of period pieces. >> yes. >> whether it's "pirates" -- >> that was probably my first one, i think.
obviously the genres are slightly different. "pirates" is action/adventure and the others more solidly within drama. >> like jane austen. >> romance and some quite strange ones like "dangerous method," the birth of psychoanalysis, a period still that's always interesting. i've seen them as being very different films and yet when i talk about them, people say, another period film. i don't think they're the same. >> you do make a point of why you did them and why the scripts were attractive. you said a lot of the modern films you are offered, the scripts, were just too violent for you. >> well, i think that it was that i didn't feel the female character was well rounded enough to warrant the violence perhaps against her. and i think that violence is interesting. it's part of our society. art should absolutely deal with
it and deal with its causes and its roots. i want it to be done in a serious way. i don't just want to be the perrette the i woman -- pretty woman who has a horrific act done to her interesting for me. i think in the modern day pieces i was offered very often it would be within that realm and that's not something that i feel comfortable doing. that's just me. that's what i was offered. other people are being offered different things. it was always that or the supportive wife. and i thought, you know, i'm quite supportive at home. i don't need to play that at work. >> go back to "bend it like beckham" which was a fabulous role and a great film. what happened to you afterwards? you've written about having had a breakdown by the time you were 22. you filmed this when you were 16. the pressure of everybody after you, the pretty girl, the paparazzi. >> i think fame is a very strange thing at any age. i think at that age, i want to say particularly for a young woman but not particularly, maybe for boys as well, you're still becoming.
you are not who you are going to be. and i think when you're suddenly famous at the age you're still trying to figure things out, that can be very complex when you're suddenly in the limelight where things are so extreme. people love you or hate you or think you're terrible and you'll always be terrible or you're amazing and always are going to be. and being buffeted by those storms at that age i found very, very, very difficult. also, it was a time of extreme paparazzi so there was never a day i wasn't being followed by 20 guys, which was a 24/7 stalking really. okay, they were being paid for it but, actually, i've had various stalking situations. i've had various paparazzi situations, and it feels the same regardless of what the intention is behind it. by the time i got to 22 the pressure of all of those things got to be too much. >> and you took time off, went
traveling for a year. >> this is where i'm super lucky. i had the money to be able to get help, which is huge, and i also had a career where i could step away and i could step back to and i'd earned enough money i didn't have to work for that year. i didn't know it was going to be a year. could have been longer. it happened to be just over a year, i think. i was very lucky from that standpoint, but also lucky my family is amazing. i have a completely solid thing behind me, which makes a huge difference when something like that happens. i think particularly in england we have a mental health crisis and the funding is so low on all of those things, that unless you have money, it's a luxury, and that really terrifies me for so many people out there. the reality of our world is you're going to have times in your life where things are going to make you crack up. unless the help is there, i don't know how people are meant to get through that. i was super lucky that i could
go, okay, i need this help. i can get this help. i want this help, and i could afford to do that. it terrifies me that people are in the situation and can't afford to do that. >> it's not mental health week, but this week we've had mental health day and there's a lot of focus on the lack of funds and resources. we've seen footballers come out and talk about their crises, olympians and tennis champs. serena williams and mike phelps and others. they say that even today, they have to come out and say that it's okay to talk about it. it's okay to get help. >> yeah, but i think culturally we're only just at that point where it is okay to say that and you don't feel there will be this major backlash and you don't feel it could potentially harm your career because people don't think you're stable enough. of course you're stable enough. you just had this moment at this particular time. for all of these people they were fortunate enough they could afford the help they needed. >> i was really fascinated to
hear how when you came back, at some point, you had to be on the red carpet. >> it was during. >> during. and you did something amazing to get yourself through it. >> i did hypnotherapy. that whole period of my life, i don't remember it in a kind of linear fashion. i don't remember exactly how many times i went. i don't know what it was. i had to get hypnotherapy to stand on the red carpet. pictures are horrific, i think. i remember it very, very, very clearly, just thinking, i have to get through this, otherwise, there will be more pressure on my head. >> roll forward or fast forward to where we are today, did you have fun making "colette"? >> loved it. i mean, you know, when i think back on sort of me at 16 or 17, the parts that i wanted to play, it would have been this. this is a dream role in so many ways. and just, i think, because as much as there is a serious message behind it, there is the kind of female empowerment sort
of thing, it's very fun. and as much as the relationship between willie and colette was one she needed to leave, it's fun. they were a magnetic pair. that time of being able to kind of create those two people, the people you want to be at the party with. you needed to get that sense from them, it was great. >> and how much fun was "pirates"? it looked fun to watch, but what was it like to film? >> it was a time in my life that i don't know if i could find it fun. the first one was fun, i was 17. there was no pressure on me. there was no pressure on it. everyone thought this probably won't work because it's a weird concept. by the time i did the second two, i was not in a place to be able to find much fun in that. >> well, since then, as i've said, you've been married, you have a child, and you are quite a sort of -- you're an active campaigner for women's rights. would you say that?
>> how lovely. let's go for that. yes. >> you don't mind me saying that? >> i don't mind you saying that. i'm definitely a feminist. i wish i was a little more active. i feel like i'm a part-time active person. >> maybe. you certainly talk a good public game. you're out there. and you've contributed to actually quite -- >> i'm terrible at organizing things. i realize having gone to meetings, oh, no, that is not my strength. >> others will organize. and you can speak. it often has a very impactful landing. feminists don't wear pink and other lies. first i want to ask you why you think when it popped up -- this is the series of essays you've also contributed to -- richard curtis, the great director, and his daughter, scarlet -- >> the great scarlet. she's wonderful. >> why do you think when you just had something simple like feminists like fashion,
feminists wear pink, feminists wear makeup, why was that banned? what was so controversial about that? >> i guess top shop doesn't like pink and white. >> do you think that's what it was? >> that's what they've said. they didn't like the style of it. >> it's very bizarre. you came out and they came out and supported the message. >> i think it's frightening when you have someone like philip green who does something like that, and basically saying, yes, i want to dress you and make you look pretty, but no, i don't want to hear what your voice says. >> this is important now, the way certain famous people show whether it's motherhood or childbirth or whatever it is and you contrasted with how kate middleton, duchess of cambridge, was brought out to face the dreaded paps a day after giving birth and she was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. the face the world wants to see. stand there and be shot by a pack of male photographers. >> mm-hmm.
what do you think that means? >> i want to know what you think it means. nobody cares what i think. >> i'm interested because i thought it was very clear. >> it is clear. i want you to say it. >> i think it was a moment of absolute empathy between one female body that had just gone through the physical and emotional marathon that is labor to another female body and i don't care who she is, another female body who has just gone through the same thing. and i think in that moment viscerally i understood what our culture was telling all of us to do, her in an extreme way, but all of us to do, was to hide our truth. and it made me -- and it's imprinted on my mind because it really made that message clear. >> you have a daughter. >> i do. >> so, obviously, this is really important for your daughter, for the next generation. you are right in the middle of the me too moment. do you think things are getting better in relation to all these things you're talking about?
>> i think we have to continue the conversation. i do not think it is going to be easy. i think you release a book, like "feminists don't wear pink and other lies," and somebody like philip green pulls it down. and you release an essay like that about the female experience and certain media outlets try and turn it into one woman belittling another which is, in fact, exactly the opposite. exactly the opposite. i think that shows us how far we have to go. >> back to "colette, a loud and prominent woman's voice, close to 100 years ago, right? >> yeah. >> what do you want women and men, boys and girls, to take away from your role from the film in general? >> i think women i want to feel a sense of empowerment. i felt so powerful playing her. i really did. and because it's a journey about somebody who discovers
themselves, and maybe there's a minute or two she's not quite there, and maybe there's a minute or two where she's hiding behind the big male figure, but she takes hold of her life and steps out from behind the shadow of that man, and she yells. i found that wonderful. but i think that should be wonderful for men, too. equality hurts both men and women. it doesn't just hurt women. and i think as far as the sexual harassment that we've seen, what i want to do culturally is show women in all of their glory, not simply show one facet of femininity, but to try to explore us as whole beings, because i think that's the only way we can get respect. and so we have a lot of work to do, but hopefully we will be able to do it. >> keira knightley, thank you very much. >> thank you very much. thanks. so let's shift now from the welcome feistiness of keira knightley and the world of cinema to documentary. i have to warn you, though, if
anyone has a fear of heights, you may want to take a deep breath right now. this awe-inspiring sight is el capitan in yosemite national park, nestled amid california's sierra nevada. and he, there, is alex honnold, a professional rock climber, the first person ever to scale the rock mass entirely by himself without even a rope or any safety gear. imagine that. the remarkable story is now a documentary called "free solo," and it's co-directed by elizabeth chai vasarhelyi. alex sat down with our hari sreenivasan. >> anybody watching this film will ask the question, why no ropes? i understand you practice with ropes. why take on a 3,000-foot granite wall with no safety net? >> it's a complicated question. basically, it's a special kind of challenge.
it is a unique experience. you have to seek it out in that way. >> how do you train? it took you almost four hours which is literally a marathon for most human beings. you're talking about almost flat rock faces for hours at a time, to keep your concentration going, both kind of a physical training question and a men cal tra -- mental training question. >> just climbing over and over with a rope and breaking it into pieces and memorizing the pieces and working on it, but the psychological component is more of the open-ended -- it's hard to know when you feel ready, when you feel confident. a lot of it has to do with how you feel, the self-confidence and that stems from how physically prepared you are and how fit you feel. they both go hand-in-hand. ultimately, they have to come together at the same time for perfect execution. >> when you're filming this, chai, there's a very real possibility, and you discuss this in the film, that something
goes horribly wrong and you're watching not just a great climber but who has become a friend to you in one of his last moments. how do you grapple with that as a filmmaker? >> that was a central question while we were making the film. and while it was a possibility, we never -- we were rooting on alex to be great and to be just fine. but from the very beginning, my directing partner and i had to grapple with that question, that could we -- it was more like if you introduced the cameras are we going to affect his climbing and is he more likely to fall because we're there than if he were alone. from that point, yes, probably. could be an interference. jimmy chin had this conversation with john and he laid it out, one, is alex going to free solo el cap anyway?
>> yes. >> is this something worth filming? absolutely. it was going to be one of the greatest human achievements ever. it was an incredible story. are you the best to do it? that's probably the case, too. jimmy has been filming and directing in the vertical world for 20 years. >> there's a clip, the boulder problem, the section you were practicing. this is not the actual climb when you're doing it. you lay this out and what you're thinking about and what you have to do. let's take a look. >> squish your thumbs and then reach out left to a big sloping bread loaf hold that feels kind of grainy. from there, karate kick or double dino to an edge on the opposite wall.
in some ways it makes more sense to do the big two-handed jump because you're jumping to a big edge so there's something to catch. but the idea of jumping without a rope seems completely outrageous. if you miss it, that's that. >> alex, that's not a hold. you're talking about that's the hardest hold. you're literally pushing your thumb into a rock and then doing something magical here. who says that's a hole? >> that's why it's the hardest part. really it's counter pressure. the foothold is reasonable so you're driving up off the foot and using that tiny upside-down thing for balance to hold you to the wall. >> how long did it take for you to practice and practice until you felt confident enough? >> i spent a year and a half rehearsing that section. i had days i would hike to the summit of el cap and rappel down to that section and do it 10 or 12 times and rappel the rest of the way to the ground and repeat that day in and day out until i felt comfortable.
>> it was a great example of how we compromised or worked on how to film this. for alex it was not so much the issue of whether or not he dies, and clearly, he doesn't want to die, but the idea of dying in front of his friends was complicated. and clearly we needed the boulder problem for the film. >> no one wants to die in front of their friends. >> it's interesting. it's an interesting question to begin with. so we needed the boulder problem for the film. the compromise was using remote control cameras so there weren't humans there but cameras. >> it wasn't a matter of dying in front of friends, but it was knowing how stressed they'd feel, and me stressing knowing they were stressing. i didn't want that mirror, that reflection of how they might be feeling because when i got to the boulder problem i would have to sit, compose myself, tighten my shoes and get ready. i knew my friend or whoever would be hanging would be super, super stressed because they would know this is the moment and i didn't want to feel that kind of pressure. basically i was like nobody should be there for that. they said remote cameras were a
great compromise because it's great for the film but i didn't feel anything. >> chai, people will be asking, looking at this guy and going, how is his brain different than ours? there was a fascinating section of the film where you actually went into an fmri scanner with him. tell us about that. >> a journalist is writing an article about alex. they wanted to look at alex. it was a great opportunity for the film. as you see in the film, it takes more stimulation to trigger alex's brain than it does the control subject. my takeaway, it was just extreme fear therapy that he's been putting himself through for ten years and it's not that he doesn't feel fear. he definitely feels fear. >> i've been desensitized. that was my takeaway. oh, everything is there and structurally it works, it
just requires more and that's because i've been desensitized over ten years of practice. >> are you less scared? what is the threshold you get scared? on this climb did you get scared? >> not so much but i've been preparing for a year and a half. i get scared if i think i'm going to fall and die. if i was unprepared and felt my feet would fall and slip and i would fall off the mountain, i would have been as scared as anybody. more prepared because i've spent so much time up there. i don't want to die anymore than anyone else. >> how do you get over that? if there's a point even though you've done your preparations and you get to a point where it feels tricky, what is the process in your own mind to get yourself calm again? >> i've had that on others, not so much on el cap. because i prepared so much on el cap. you have to sort of take a deep breath, compose yourself and pull it together and perform. >> there's a conversation that we were able to witness and the audience inside your van.
it is a very personal conversation where your girlfriend is asking you, basically, do you take me into your equation? >> would putting me into the equation actually change anything? would you make decisions differently? >> if i had some kind of obligation to maximize my life span, yeah, obviously, i'd have to give up soloing. >> do you see that as an obligation now? >> no, no. >> oh. >> as i was watching and 1,000 other people are watching, we're going, you're going to lose the girl! this is the wrong answer. >> i can't really lie. i'm always honest with her. i think that answer would change over time. at that point, we had that conversation, we'd been dating maybe a year, and i had been dreaming about free soloing el cap for years. it was the all encompassing dream of my life. i was dating this wonderful woman. it's been a year, it's not the
same weight as what i had been carrying for so long. >> do you remember the first thing you wanted to climb? >> i'm sure it was out of my crib and then the door frames of the house and the trees in the backyard. >> the roof is what i always heard about. >> that, too. i climbed the buildings around my house, churches and schools and things. and when the climbing gym opened, i started climbing for real. >> what made you stick with it? why did you -- >> it's so awesome. have you not climbed? it's so fun. >> is there something that -- i mean, if it's a climbing gym, i can see you're outdoor somewhere, but before this interview, you went and worked out. i mean, this is what you do. >> i went and played at the climbing gym, then it's way more fun. that is working out. basically at the heart of it, i love the movement. i loved swinging around, kicking my feet around and the problem solving. it's fun. >> the audience, it's almost like a feeling in your gut when you're scared of watching you fall.
when you're watching this, how do you feel about the climbing versus the love story that's playing out in front of the audience? >> when i watch the film, some of the climbing is the best days of my life. it's all laid out. it's beautiful. it's awesome, almost like a journal of a great day for me. watching my relationship laid out is a little bit more difficult. >> that's harder for you to watch. >> for sure. i say so many things, and i'm like, oh, i probably should have been a little kinder, said that a little more gently. yeah, when i watch all that, i'm like, she's a great woman and i'm not that nice. it's hard to watch. >> it just opened in theaters. it's doing really well. why do you think it resonates to people who have no interest in rock climbing? i'll ask you this, as well. >> we're incredibly grateful people are going to see the movie. i think it's something different for everybody.
i these it's an incredible story about something you can't even imagine. it's supposed to be seen on a big screen because you're right there next to him. the love story is compelling. it allows us to see what alex is feeling. and part of me wonders if it's also about seeing someone who has an audacious dream and actually achieves it. he does something which i think in this moment in time we're not seeing very much of that. >> alex honnold, thank you for joining us. >> what an astonishing feat. that is our program. thank you for watching "amanpour and company." join us again next time. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour and company."
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this is "nightly business report" with bill griffeth and sue herera. >> the market cannot seem to find its footing after last week's row, making it difficult to find out what might come next. new challenge, rising tensions between the u.s. and saudi arabia are adding another element of uncertainty for investors. and the death of sears, the store was once a part of the fabric of america, and now it's bankrupt. those stories is much more tonight on "nightly business report" for this monday, october 15th. and we do bid you good evening, everybody. welcome. sue is off tonight. investors may have started tweak hoping for a bounce back in st